Many thanks to Julia for her help with this biography.
Francis Albert Anstey (possibly born Francis Frederick Anstey), a member of the Birmingham Ansteys, was born in 1878 in Aston Manor, North Birmingham, probably his mother was Eliza Agnes Anstey (b 1862 Birmingham, who emigrated to Illinois, America leaving Francis in England) and certainly his grandfather was James Anstey (b c1823 in Birmingham, who married Emma Brown).
In the 1881 and 1891 Censuses, Francis was living with his grandfather James Anstey in Wilton Street, Aston. In 1903 in Birmingham, Francis married Louisa Meddings, having children (born in various parts of England):
- Frank Edward Anstey (b 1906 Redditch, Worcestershire);
- Ellen May Anstey (b 1911 Plymouth);
- Violet E. Anstey (b 1912 Newton Abbot);
- Doris M. Anstey (b 1914 Coventry);
- George H. Anstey (b 1916 Coventry);
In the 1911 Census, Francis was a labourer at an iron foundry in Plymouth (his birth confirmed as being in Aston Manor). Then in March 1915, just after World War One had commenced, Francis (by then living in Wells Street, Coventry and a machinist by trade) signed up for active service in Coventry, joining the Royal Army Service Corps as a Private (Service Number: M/398561). At the same time and place (March 1915 in Coventry) he also joined the ‘2/7 Royal Warwickshire Regiment‘ Territorial Force as a Private (Nbr: 4160 or 41601); his birth town was again confirmed as ‘Aston Manor’.
We know little of Francis’s war service, but he was in the Mechanical Transport Army Service Corps (M. T. A. S. C.) Depot in Sydenham for a time (likely he spent most of his time in active service there). Francis was certainly based in Sydenham when he was discharged from duty in January 1919.
After the war ended, Francis and his family remained in Coventry. For example in the 1930 Electoral Register, Francis was living at 18 Somerville Road, Wyken in the suburbs of Coventry. However by 1932 Francis and Louisa appear to have separated because, according to the ‘Coventry Evening Telegraph‘ 5 October 1932 edition “Charged with arrears in maintenance amounting to £ 781 8s 6d due to his wife, Francis Albert Anstey of ‘Elite’ St Luke’s Road was sent to prison for three months“.
Francis died in 1937 “aged 59” at which time he was living in Hope Street, Coventry; he is buried at the London Road Cemetery in Coventry.
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